Police Charge Homeless Men
Four homeless men living in the woods around Riverhead were charged with a slew of burglaries on the South Fork last week after one of the burglaries was reported to Sag Harbor Village.
Police cracked the case after Jose Canales, a landscaper, reported nearly $9,000 in assorted equipment missing from his shed on Glover Street in the village on the morning of July 11. Trimmers, chain saws, and backpack blowers had been taken, though the larger lawn mowing equipment was left behind during the heist, Chief Austin McGuire said this week.
One of Mr. Canales’s employees mentioned that he was at a gas station in Riverhead recently when a group of men tried to sell him landscaping equipment, which he did not purchase. He told police he had seen the men there before.
The Southampton Town Police Department had sent a bulletin out to neighboring agencies about a pattern of crime just one day before Mr. Canales’s equipment disappeared. Similar incidents were reported in Bridgehampton, Southampton, and Hampton Bays, according to Southampton Town Lt. Susan Ralph.
The information-sharing bulletin had a photograph of a pickup truck that police believed was driven by the suspect in other burglaries in the Town of Southampton. Chief McGuire said police showed the photograph to the employee, who recognized it as the truck the men who tried to sell him equipment had been driving.
The vehicle was located later that day in the Town of Riverhead with some of the stolen equipment, not far from the gas station, Chief McGuire said. He said it was the good work among several departments that led to the arrest.
The four men,— Oscar R. Escobar-Gonzalez, 26, Sebastian J. Membreno, 25, Elisandro Lopez-Guzman, 36, and Amilcar F. Veliz-Veliz, 33, — were all apprehended through investigation, Lieutenant Ralph said.
Sag Harbor Village police charged the men with burglary in the third degree and grand larceny in the third degree, both felonies. Southampton Town police charged them with a number of other felonies. The four men are being held at the Suffolk County jail in Riverside.
Meanwhile, East Hampton Village police arrested a 19-year-old college student on Saturday, alleging that he stole a Ferrari from the owner of a Buckskill Road house that a family member works for. Police did not name the owner of the house or the vehicle. His son called police when he got to his father’s house at about 4 p.m., found the garage door open, and the 2015 blue Ferrari missing. Nothing inside the residence was disturbed.
Police sent out a “be on the lookout” alert to surrounding police agencies. However, while at the house to investigate, the Ferrari pulled into the driveway with Michael Perez-Medina of Longwood, Fla., behind the wheel and two friends in the car. They were taken to police headquarters for questioning.
Detective Sgt. Greg Brown said this week that Mr. Perez-Medina had access to the house because his family member works there, but did not have permission to drive the Ferrari.
Mr. Perez-Medina was charged with second-degree grand larceny, a felony, second-degree criminal possession of stolen property, also a felony, and third-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was released on $1,000 bail.
His two friends were not charged because, the detective said, they were not aware he did not have permission to use the car.